Thinking Outside the Box: Alternatives to Traditional Mobile Internet Options

Cellular, WiFi, and satellite are not the only ways to get online while enjoying life on the road.

 

If you are willing to get a little creative or experimental, there are a few other less obvious alternatives too.

If you are willing to get a little flexible with what “mobile” and “internet” means, you may have more options than you ever imagined to stay connected to the things you need to.

Included in this Guide:

Enjoy This Free Preview
of Our Guides

We are honored to be able to present the basic sections of this guide as a free preview to you - without 3rd party advertising, sponsorships or relying on selling you gear or plans.

In thanks for funding this resource center, MIAs (Mobile Internet Aficionados - our premium members) also get access to all of the in-depth content in this guide.

If you're a member, please log in above for full access to this guide and ability to comment.

 

Learn More About Membership

 



Got Coverage?

Cable/ DSL / WISP Installation

Being mobile doesn’t necessarily mean having to use only mobile internet!

Cable/DSL

Having cable hooked up during a long term stay at an RV / mobile home park.

If you’re planning to be in one spot for a while, sometimes hooking directly up to fixed, wired cable or DSL is a possibility.

RV parks and even mobile home parks with RV spaces that cater to long-term residents and permanent dwellers sometimes already have cable pulled to each site, and all it takes is contacting the local cable or DSL provider to get service switched on and have them bring you the necessary modem.

The park may not advertise this as an amenity, so you probably need to ask. Start by looking for parks that offer cable TV or seasonal rates. Depending on the provider, the costs to get started can be very reasonable. Since there are often not any long-term contracts required to get service, you can cancel after just a few weeks or month or two without penalties. And you can usually rent the equipment for a few dollars a month, instead of buying it. But if you find yourself signing up for cable internet often, many providers utilize the same modem standard – so it may be worthwhile buying a cable modem and keeping it onboard for quicker activation.

The advantage of going with cable or DSL is gaining access to fast and essentially unlimited internet. After rationing out bandwidth on the road for months on end, spending a few weeks drinking from the firehose can feel incredibly decadent and absolutely awesome! Temporarily embracing a wired lifestyle can sometimes be very worth it for us bandwidth junkies – perfect for hyper-focusing on a work project before heading back out on the road!

Caution: When you rip yourself away from unlimited fast bandwidth again, you may whimper.

WISP Access (Wireless Internet Service Providers)

Particularly in the mountainous West, a WISP may be an option for temporary fixed-location service, even in places beyond where cable and DSL providers reach.

A WISP is a wireless internet service provider – and these companies have sprung up in many communities to fill the demand for faster-than-dial-up home internet service.

The WISP providers set up transmitters on local high points and then install compatible broadband receivers on the roofs of local customers. Since the WISP doesn’t need to run new wires, if you have a view to the right mountain or hillside, you might be able to get a local WISP to offer you fast unlimited service – even if you are in a remote boondocking spot miles from the nearest cable run or phone line. It all depends on line of sight.

To find out if WISP might be an option in your area, check local advertising periodicals, signs in grocery stores or laundromats, the Yellow Pages, Google, or talk to local computer repair professionals for leads.

Because a professional installation is usually required, WISP service is not usually appropriate for short-term stays.


Additional Member Only Content

If you're a MIA member, please log in to see the rest of this guide - which contains additional information on:

 

Keep Learning - Go to School

This guide is part of our Mobile Internet University classroom, an included benefit for our premium Mobile Internet Aficionados members.

Our course is designed to be self paced, walking you through our content on selecting cellular data plans, equipment, signal enhancing, Wi-Fi, satellite, routers and more.

Continue to the next recommended guide in this series at:

Want full access to the rest of this guide?

Ready for More?

We offer a ton more content here at the Mobile Internet Resource Center.  Here's some places to check out next:

Have questions?

Join our free Internet for RVers & Cruisers Facebook Group.  We cross post news articles and information there, and our staff can field basic questions during 'business hours'. It is with gratitude to our premium members that we're able to offer this free service - and for that, they also have access our private Q&A areas for more in-depth guidance.

Stay in the Know :

We're constantly tracking the industry and analyzing new developments for mobile travelers. Check out our News Center for the latest things we're tracking.

If you'd like to receive updates, we offer several ways:

Members, Please Log In to Comment on this Article.